The Arabian peninsula, simplified Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian plate. From a geographical perspective, it is considered a subcontinent of Asia, it is the largest peninsula in the world, at 3,237,500 km2. The peninsula consists of the countries Yemen, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; the peninsula formed as a result of the rifting of the Red Sea between 56 and 23 million years ago, is bordered by the Red Sea to the west and southwest, the Persian Gulf to the northeast, the Levant to the north and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. The peninsula plays a critical geopolitical role in the Arab world due to its vast reserves of oil and natural gas. Before the modern era, it was divided into four distinct regions: Hejaz, Southern Arabia and Eastern Arabia. Hejaz and Najd make up most of Saudi Arabia. Southern Arabia consists of some parts of Saudi Arabia and Oman. Eastern Arabia consists of the entire coastal strip of the Persian Gulf.
The Arabian Peninsula is located in the continent of Asia and bounded by the Persian Gulf on the northeast, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman on the east, the Arabian Sea on the southeast and south, the Gulf of Aden on the south, the Bab-el-Mandeb strait on the southwest and the Red Sea, located on the southwest and west. The northern portion of the peninsula merges with the Syrian Desert with no clear border line, although the northern boundary of the peninsula is considered to be the northern borders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; the most prominent feature of the peninsula is desert, but in the southwest there are mountain ranges, which receive greater rainfall than the rest of the peninsula. Harrat ash Shaam is a large volcanic field that extends from the northwestern Arabia into Jordan and southern Syria; the peninsula's constituent countries are Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on the southeast, Yemen on the south and Saudi Arabia at the center. The island nation of Bahrain lies off the east coast of the peninsula.
Six countries form the Gulf Cooperation Council. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia covers the greater part of the peninsula; the majority of the population of the peninsula live in Yemen. The peninsula contains the world's largest reserves of oil. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are economically the wealthiest in the region. Qatar, a small peninsula in the Persian Gulf on the larger peninsula, is home of the Arabic-language television station Al Jazeera and its English-language subsidiary Al Jazeera English. Kuwait, on the border with Iraq, is an important country strategically, forming one of the main staging grounds for coalition forces mounting the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Though lightly populated, political Arabia is noted for a high population growth rate – as the result of both strong inflows of migrant labor as well as sustained high birth rates; the population tends to be young and skewed gender ratio dominated by males. In many states, the number of South Asians exceeds that of the local citizenry.
The four smallest states, which have their entire coastlines on the Persian Gulf, exhibit the world's most extreme population growth tripling every 20 years. In 2014, the estimated population of the Arabian Peninsula was 77,983,936; the Arabian Peninsula is known for having one of the most uneven adult sex ratios in the world with females in some regions constituting only a quarter of vicenarians and tricenarians. Listed here are the human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups in Arabia Haplogroup J is the most abundant component in the Arabian peninsula, embracing more than 50% of its Y-chromosomes, its two main subclades, show opposite latitudinal gradients in the Middle East. J1-M267 is more abundant in the southern areas, reaching a frequency around 73% in Yemen, whereas J2-M172 is more common in the Levant. J Accounts for the majority of in Saudi Arabia, it seems to be an Adnani marker. Haplogroup J 54.8% Haplogroup E 17.5% R 11.6% Haplogroup T-M184 5.1% Geologically, this region is more appropriately called the Arabian subcontinent because it lies on a tectonic plate of its own, the Arabian Plate, moving incrementally away from the rest of Africa and north, toward Asia, into the Eurasian Plate.
The rocks exposed vary systematically across Arabia, with the oldest rocks exposed in the Arabian-Nubian Shield near the Red Sea, overlain by earlier sediments that become younger towards the Persian Gulf. The best-preserved ophiolite on Earth, the Semail Ophiolite, lies exposed in the mountains of the UAE and northern Oman; the peninsula consists of: A central plateau, the Najd, with fertile valleys and pastures used for the grazing of sheep and other livestock A range of deserts: the Nefud in the north, stony.
Mali the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres; the population of Mali is 18 million. Its capital is Bamako; the sovereign state of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country's economy centers on mining; some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, salt. Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire. During its golden age, there was a flourishing of mathematics, astronomy and art. At its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa.
In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan. French Sudan joined with Senegal in 1959. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal's withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state. In January 2012, an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which Tuareg rebels took control of a territory in the north, in April declared the secession of a new state, Azawad; the conflict was complicated by a military coup that took place in March and fighting between Tuareg and rebels. In response to territorial gains, the French military launched Opération Serval in January 2013. A month Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north. Presidential elections were held on 28 July 2013, with a second-round run-off held on 11 August, legislative elections were held on 24 November and 15 December 2013.
The name Mali is taken from the name of the Mali Empire. The name was derived from the Mandinka or Bambara word mali, meaning "hippopotamus", but it came to mean "the place where the king lives"; the word carries the connotation of strength. Guinean writer Djibril Niane suggests in Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali that it is not impossible that Mali was the name given to one of the capitals of the emperors. 14th-century Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta reported that the capital of the Mali Empire was called Mali. One Mandinka tradition tells that the legendary first emperor Sundiata Keita changed himself into a hippopotamus upon his death in the Sankarani River, that it's possible to find villages in the area of this river, termed "old Mali", which have Mali for a name; this name could have been that of a city. In old Mali, there is one village called Malika which means "New Mali."Another theory suggests that Mali is a Fulani pronunciation of the name of the Mande peoples. It is suggested that a sound shift led to the change, whereby in Fulani the alveolar segment /nd/ shifts to /l/ and the terminal vowel denasalises and raises, thus "Manden" shifts to /Mali/.
Mali was once part of three famed West African empires which controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt and other precious commodities. These Sahelian kingdoms had rigid ethnic identities; the earliest of these empires was the Ghana Empire, dominated by the Soninke, a Mande-speaking people. The empire expanded throughout West Africa from the 8th century until 1078, when it was conquered by the Almoravids; the Mali Empire formed on the upper Niger River, reached the height of power in the 14th century. Under the Mali Empire, the ancient cities of Djenné and Timbuktu were centers of both trade and Islamic learning; the empire declined as a result of internal intrigue being supplanted by the Songhai Empire. The Songhai people originated in current northwestern Nigeria; the Songhai had long been a major power in West Africa subject to the Mali Empire's rule. In the late 14th century, the Songhai gained independence from the Mali Empire and expanded subsuming the entire eastern portion of the Mali Empire.
The Songhai Empire's eventual collapse was the result of a Moroccan invasion in 1591, under the command of Judar Pasha. The fall of the Songhai Empire marked the end of the region's role as a trading crossroads. Following the establishment of sea routes by the European powers, the trans-Saharan trade routes lost significance. One of the worst famines in the region's recorded history occurred in the 18th century. According to John Iliffe, "The worst crises were in the 1680s, when famine extended from the Senegambian coast to the Upper Nile and'many sold themselves for slaves, only to get a sustenance', in 1738–1756, when West Africa's greatest recorded subsistence crisis, due to drought and locusts killed half the population of Timbuktu." Mali fell under the control of France during the late 19th century. By 1905, most of the area was under firm French control as a part of French Sudan. In early 1959, French Sudan and Senegal united to become the Mali Federation; the Mali Federation gained independence from France on 20 June 1960.
Senegal withdrew from the federation in August 1960, which allowed the Sudanes
Muhammad was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached by Adam, Moses and other prophets, he is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief. Born 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca, Muhammad was orphaned at the age of six, he was raised under the care of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, upon his death, by his uncle Abu Talib. In years he would periodically seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer; when he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, receiving his first revelation from God. Three years in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "submission" to God is the right way of life, that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.
The followers of Muhammad were few in number, experienced hostility from Meccan polytheists. He sent some of his followers to Abyssinia in 615 to shield them from prosecution, before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina in 622; this event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent fighting with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca; the conquest went uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam; the revelations, which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the verbatim "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices, found in the Hadith and sira literature, are upheld and used as sources of Islamic law.
The name Muhammad appears four times in the Quran. The Quran addresses Muhammad in the second person by various appellations. Muhammad is sometimes addressed by designations deriving from his state at the time of the address: thus he is referred to as the enwrapped in Quran 73:1 and the shrouded in Quran 74:1. In Sura Al-Ahzab 33:40 God singles out Muhammad as the "Seal of the prophets", or the last of the prophets; the Quran refers to Muhammad as Aḥmad "more praiseworthy". The name Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim, begins with the kunya Abū, which corresponds to the English, father of; the Quran is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe; the Quran, provides minimal assistance for Muhammad's chronological biography. Important sources regarding Muhammad's life may be found in the historic works by writers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries of the Muslim era; these include traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad, which provide additional information about Muhammad's life.
The earliest surviving written sira is Ibn Ishaq's Life of God's Messenger written c. 767 CE. Although the work was lost, this sira was used at great length by Ibn Hisham and to a lesser extent by Al-Tabari. However, Ibn Hisham admits in the preface to his biography of Muhammad that he omitted matters from Ibn Ishaq's biography that "would distress certain people". Another early history source is the history of Muhammad's campaigns by al-Waqidi, the work of his secretary Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi. Many scholars accept these early biographies as authentic. Recent studies have led scholars to distinguish between traditions touching legal matters and purely historical events. In the legal group, traditions could have been subject to invention while historic events, aside from exceptional cases, may have been only subject to "tendential shaping". Other important sources include the hadith collections, accounts of the verbal and physical teachings and traditions of Muhammad. Hadiths were compiled several generations after his death by followers including Muhammad al-Bukhari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi, Abd ar-Rahman al-Nasai, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Malik ibn Anas, al-Daraqutni.
Some Western academics cautiously view the hadith collections as accurate historical sources. Scholars such as Madelung do not reject the narrations which have been compiled in periods, but judge them in the context of history and on the basis of their compatibility with the events and figures. Muslim scholars on the other hand place a greater emph
Mecca spelled Makkah, is a city in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula, the plain of Tihamah in Saudi Arabia, is the capital and administrative headquarters of the Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m above sea level, 340 kilometres south of Medina, its resident population in 2012 was 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah. As the birthplace of Muḥammad, the site of Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam's holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer. Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad's descendants, the sharifs, acting either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger polities, it was conquered by Ibn Saud in 1925.
In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure, home to structures such as the Abraj Al Bait known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, the world's fourth tallest building and the building with the third largest amount of floor area. During this expansion, Mecca has lost some historical structures and archaeological sites, such as the Ajyad Fortress. Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj; as a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Muslim world, although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city. "Mecca" is the familiar form of the English transliteration for the Arabic name of the city, although the official transliteration used by the Saudi government is Makkah, closer to the Arabic pronunciation. The word "Mecca" in English has come to be used to refer to any place that draws large numbers of people, because of this some English speaking Muslims have come to regard the use of this spelling for the city as offensive.
The Saudi government adopted Makkah as the official spelling in the 1980s, but is not universally known or used worldwide. The full official name is Makkah al-Mukarramah or Makkatu l-Mukarramah, which means "Mecca the Honored", but is loosely translated as "The Holy City of Mecca"; the ancient or early name for the site of Mecca is Bakkah. An Arabic language word, its etymology, like that of Mecca, is obscure. Believed to be a synonym for Mecca, it is said to be more the early name for the valley located therein, while Muslim scholars use it to refer to the sacred area of the city that surrounds and includes the Ka‘bah; this form is used for the name Mecca in the Quran in 3:96, while the form Mecca is used in 48:24. In South Arabic, the language in use in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad, the b and m were interchangeable. Other references to Mecca in the Quran call it Umm al-Qurā, meaning "Mother of All Settlements"/"mother of villages". Another name of Mecca is Ṫihāmah.
Another name for Mecca, or the wilderness and mountains surrounding it, according to Arab and Islamic tradition, is Faran or Pharan, referring to the Desert of Paran mentioned in the Old Testament at Genesis 21:21. Arab and Islamic tradition holds that the wilderness of Paran, broadly speaking, is the Tihamah and the site where Ishmael settled was Mecca. Yaqut al-Hamawi, the 12th century Syrian geographer, wrote that Fārān was "an arabized Hebrew word, one of the names of Mecca mentioned in the Torah." Mecca is governed by the Municipality of Mecca, a municipal council of fourteen locally elected members headed by a mayor appointed by the Saudi government. As of May 2015, the mayor of the city was Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Bar. Mecca is the capital of the Makkah Region; the provincial governor was prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from 2000 until his death in 2007. On 16 May 2007, prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud was appointed as the new governor; the early history of Mecca is still disputed, as there are no unambiguous references to it in ancient literature prior to the rise of Islam.
The Roman Empire took control of part of the Hejaz in 106 CE, ruling cities such as Hegra, located to the north of Mecca. Though detailed descriptions were established of Western Arabia by Rome, such as by Procopius, there are no references of a pilgrimage and trading outpost such as Mecca; the first direct mention of Mecca in external literature occurs in 741 CE, in the Byzantine-Arab Chronicle, though here the author places it in Mesopotamia rather than the Hejaz. Given the inhospitable environment and lack of historical references in Roman and Indian sources, historians including Patricia Crone and Tom Holland have cast doubt on the claim that Mecca was a major historical trading outpost; the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus writes about Arabia in his work Bibliotheca historica, describing a holy shrine: "And a temple has been set up there, holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians". Claims have been made. However, the geographic location Diodorus describes is located in northwest Arabia, around the area of Leuke Kome, closer to Petra and within the form
Eighty Years' War
The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance, they were able to oust the Habsburg armies, in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas; the Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire; the Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.
There are numerous causes that led to the Eighty Years' War but the primary reasons could be classified into two: resentment towards the Spanish authority and religious tension. The first was articulated by the Dutch nobility who wanted to regain power and privileges lost in favor of the King, so they settled the thought that Phillip II was surrounded by evil advisors; this developed into an overarching discontent against the absolutist Spanish regime. Religious resistance, on the other hand, came with the imposition of an ecclesiastical hierarchy for all of the Spanish territories; this created resistance in the Dutch provinces, which embraced the Reformation. In the decades preceding the war, the Dutch became discontented with Spanish rule. A major concern involved the heavy taxation imposed on the population, while support and guidance from the government was hampered by the size of the Spanish empire. At that time, the Seventeen Provinces were known in the empire as De landen van herwaarts over and in French as Les pays de par deça – "those lands around there".
The Dutch provinces were continually criticised for acting without permission from the throne, while it was impractical for them to gain permission for actions, as requests sent to the throne would take at least four weeks for a response to return. The presence of Spanish troops under the command of the Duke of Alba, brought in to oversee order, further amplified this unrest. Spain attempted a policy of strict religious uniformity for the Catholic Church within its domains, enforced it with the Inquisition; the Reformation meanwhile produced a number of Protestant denominations, which gained followers in the Seventeen Provinces. These included the Lutheran movement of Martin Luther, the Anabaptist movement of the Dutch reformer Menno Simons, the Reformed teachings of John Calvin; this growth led to the 1566 Beeldenstorm, the "Iconoclastic Fury", in which many churches in northern Europe were stripped of their Catholic statuary and religious decoration. In October 1555, Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire began the gradual abdication of his several crowns.
His son Philip II took over as sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands, which at the time was a personal union of seventeen provinces with little in common beyond their sovereign and a constitutional framework. This framework, assembled during the preceding reigns of Burgundian and Habsburg rulers, divided power between city governments, local nobility, provincial States, royal stadtholders, the States General of the Netherlands, the central government assisted by three councils: the Council of State, the Privy Council and the Council of Finances; the balance of power was weighted toward the local and regional governments. Philip did not govern in person but appointed Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy as governor-general to lead the central government. In 1559 he appointed his half-sister Margaret of Parma as the first Regent, who governed in close co-operation with Dutch nobles like William, Prince of Orange, Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn, Lamoral, Count of Egmont. Philip introduced a number of councillors in the Council of State, foremost among these Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, a French-born cardinal who gained considerable influence in the Council, much to the chagrin of the Dutch council members.
When Philip left for Spain in 1559 political tension was increased by religious policies. Not having the liberal-mindedness of his father Charles V, Philip was a fervent enemy of the Protestant movements of Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Anabaptists. Charles had outlawed heresy in special placards that made it a capital offence, to be prosecuted by a Dutch version of the Inquisition, leading to the executions of over 1,300 people between 1523 and 1566. Towards the end of Charles' reign enforcement had become lax. Philip, insisted on rigorous enforcement, which caused widespread unrest. To support and strengthen the attempts at Counter-Reformation Philip launched a wholesale organisational reform of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands in 1559, which resulted in the inclusion of fourteen dioceses instead of the old three; the new hierarchy was to be headed by Granvelle as archbishop of the new archdiocese of Mechelen. The reform was unpopular with the old church hierarchy, as the new dioceses were to be financed by the transfer of a number of rich abbey
Nikephoros I of Constantinople
St. Nikephoros I or Nicephorus I was a Christian Byzantine writer and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from April 12, 806, to March 13, 815, he was born in Constantinople as the son of Theodore and Eudokia, of a orthodox family, which had suffered from the earlier Iconoclasm. His father Theodore, one of the secretaries of Emperor Constantine V, had been scourged and banished to Nicaea for his zealous support of Iconodules, the son inherited the religious convictions of the father, he entered the service of the Empire, became cabinet secretary, under Irene took part in the synod of 787 as imperial commissioner. He withdrew to one of the cloisters that he had founded on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, until he was appointed director of the largest home for the destitute in Constantinople c. 802. After the death of the Patriarch Tarasios of Constantinople, although still a layman, he was chosen patriarch by the wish of the emperor; the uncanonical choice met with opposition from the clerical party of the Stoudites, this opposition intensified into an open break when Nikephoros, in other respects a rigid moralist, showed himself compliant to the will of the emperor by reinstating the excommunicated priest Joseph.
After vain theological disputes, in December 814, there followed personal insults. Nikephoros at first replied to his removal from his office by excommunication, but was at last obliged to yield to force, was taken to one of the cloisters he had founded, Tou Agathou, to that called Tou Hagiou Theodorou. From there he carried on a literary polemic for the cause of the iconodules against the synod of 815. On the occasion of the change of emperors, in 820, he was put forward as a candidate for the patriarchate and at least obtained the promise of toleration, he died at the monastery of Saint Theodore, revered as a confessor. His remains were solemnly brought back to Constantinople by Methodios I of Constantinople on March 13, 847, interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles, where they were annually the object of imperial devotion, his feast is celebrated on this day both in Roman Churches. Compared with Theodore of Stoudios, Nikephoros appears as a friend of conciliation, learned in patristics, more inclined to take the defensive than the offensive, possessed of a comparatively chaste, simple style.
He was mild in his ecclesiastical and monastical rules and non-partisan in his historical treatment of the period from 602 to 769. He used the chronicle of Trajan the Patrician, his tables of universal history, in passages extended and continued, were in great favor with the Byzantines, were circulated outside the Empire in the Latin version of Anastasius Bibliothecarius, in Slavonic translation. The Chronography offered a universal history from the time of Eve to his own time. To it he appended a canon catalog; the catalog of the accepted books of the Old and New Testaments is followed by the antilegomena and the apocrypha. Next to each book is the count of its lines, his stichometry, to which we can compare our accepted texts and judge how much has been added or omitted; this is useful for apocrypha for which only fragmentary texts have survived. The principal works of Nikephorus are three writings referring to iconoclasm: Apologeticus minor composed before 814, an explanatory work for laymen concerning the tradition and the first phase of the iconoclastic movement.
Nikephoros follows in the path of John of Damascus. His merit is the thoroughness with which he traced the literary and traditional proofs, his detailed refutations are serviceable for the knowledge they afford of important texts adduced by his opponents and in part drawn from the older church literature. List of Catholic saints Development of the Canon of the New Testament: the Stichometry of Nicephorus St. Nicephorus
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol